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22 August, 2019

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Low-power servodrives head a slew of CT launches

15 August, 2019

The Welsh drives-maker, Control Techniques, now part of the Japanese Nidec group, has announced a new generation of low-power servodrives and motors. The 200V Digitax SF drives, spanning ratings from 50–750W, will be positioned alongside CT’s flagship Digitax HD servo platform.

As well as the servodrives, CT has announced several other launches and enhancements, including:

•  a range of ready-to-install, free-standing high-power cubicle drives;

•  a version of Digitax HD with on-board Ethernet;

•  a DC bus connected capacitor share module: and

•  active front-end (AFE) kits for enhanced energy efficiency.

CT has also been investing in its production facilities in Newtown, Wales, including the installation of a $4.8m surface-mount line which can create PCBs in just 30 seconds. A second similar SMT line is on order and the company is looking at introducing collaborative robots to the site.

The Asian-style Digitax SF servodrives, aimed at small, cost-sensitive installations, offer 17-bit feedback resolution, and pulse or analogue interfaces. They offer a choice of motor inertia levels, as well as filters to compensate for mechanical resonance and to suppress tip vibration. One target market is robotics.

“Digital SF brings the latest drive technology to the low-power applications sector of the market,” says CT president, Tony Pickering. “The offering ensures that Control Techniques is at the top of its game in every department.”

The new pre-engineered cubicle drives span power ratings from 55–520kW and can be used as emergency replacements for failed drives. They will be available in IP23, IP54 or water-cooled IP55 variants, and will incorporate standard CT drive modules – either the Unidrive M700 control stage for high-performance control, or the Powerdrive F300 for fan, pump and compressor applications.

Control Techniques’ new Digitax SF servodrives are aimed at small, cost-sensitive installations

The new Digitax M750 networkable servodrive supports Profinet RT, Ethernet/IP and Modbus TCP using the same on-board Ethernet switch. The 40mm-wide drive spans ratings from 0.7–51Nm and 1.5–16A (48A peak). It can handle 300% overloads, and offers 62µs current loops and 16kHz switching frequencies. Five of the drives can fit on an A4 sheet, and they can be accommodated in 200mm-deep cabinets.

The new bus-connected capacitor module for the Digitax HD servodrives can be used:

•  to provide faster current rise times in motors, allowing more dynamic acceleration and deceleration;

•  to offer greater resilience in applications with problematic power supplies;

•  to achieve controlled stopping if the power supply is lost; or

•  to reduce DC bus ripple to improve drive ratings in single-phase applications.

Finally, the new AFE kits provide extra filtering that allows an M750 drive to operate as a power supply/regenerative module to generate a DC bus and to return excess energy to the mains supply. The modules can be connected to a single motoring axis or a multi-axis DC-bus-connected system.

Pickering reports that CT is planning to create more than 30 r&d roles and has taken on more than 15 apprentices in the past year. By the end of this year, he adds, about 10% of employees in Newtown will be trainees – either apprentices or graduates.

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